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Fr i e n d s o f Tr i n i ty Ca t h e d ra l

FALL/WINTER 2010 Vol 1 No 2

Cathedral foundation needs your support Some have wondered what lies beneath the beautiful marble flooring of historic Trinity Cathedral’s sanctuary and altar. And now we know: two inches of marble, four inches of concrete – then nothing…at least about four feet of nothing. Considerable settling has occurred since the Cathedral was constructed in 1925. Based on exploratory studies recently conducted by the structural engineering firm of Douglas Wood & Associates, engineers have discovered the following:

In general, the reinforced concrete columns in the crawl spaces below the slabs are significantly deteriorated, with corroded reinforcement and spalled concrete.

• The entire upper level floor slab of the sanctuary altar and chancel areas are structurally reinforced concrete slabs elevated well above the soil level. • The elevated floor areas were formed with wood boards that were abandoned in place when the structures were cast. The boards are still present, but most are rotted, loose or fallen.

There are also several deteriorated areas on the slabs, beams and walls, although most areas of the slabs and beams do not appear to be significantly deteriorated at this time.

• The lower, or nave, floor areas are also structurally reinforced concrete slabs, but appear to generally be cast on ground. • The floor slabs are also supported at the columns, sometimes on bricks mortared around the columns. There are also some reinforced concrete beams that support the slabs.


Cathedrals embody adventuresome spirit

As one of Miami’s most significant older buildings – and one of the city’s oldest institutions – we currently are undergoing the daunting process of bringing a 1925 building up to current electrical and structural codes. In doing so, we have discovered major damage to the altar and sanctuary floors. Most recently, our engineers discovered in the area around and below the altar, two inches of marble, four inches of concrete – then nothing. Literally, the earth has moved, and the ground has shifted and settled. And the rebar that has supported the massive pillars around the altar has corroded.

Although much has changed since the early days of Trinity Church, the adventuresome spirit of Julia Tuttle and missionary Bishop William Crane Gray in 1896 persists today. That adventuresome spirit is what inspires individuals of all faiths to help rebuild Haiti, opens the doors to new forms and styles of worship, and welcomes people of diverse viewpoints to think and live out their many callings to serve God and one another in hundreds of different ways.

This is more than a challenge, and we have begun in earnest to address what could become a tragic situation for this historic sacred space. We have hired an architect, Richard Heisenbottle & Associates, who specializes in historic preservation; we have secured grants from the City of Miami and others; and we have established Friends of Trinity Cathedral, an organization to support the restoration, preservation and ongoing maintenance of this magnificent Cathedral, this historic Miami landmark.

That is part of what a Cathedral does as well. Cathedrals in the United States are somewhat different from those in Europe because most started as parish churches. As such, a Cathedral has dual vocations of being not only supportive of a local congregation but also serving as the “Mother Church” of its Diocese. And that can be a challenge.

The latest estimate for the restoration of Trinity Cathedral is $7 million. We cannot do this alone. We need your financial support and your help.

So what does it mean to be an urban Cathedral in the 21st Century? More than anything, it means that Trinity Cathedral is a community of communities – a center of worship, music, culture, dialogue, prayer and sanctuary. In many ways, we continually seek to capture the vision of a medieval cathedral – a place where all feel welcomed, where major civic, cultural and spiritual events take place, where pilgrims and parishioners alike – regardless of their faith – can enter our sacred space and claim it as their own.

It will be a challenge repairing the stucco and stained glass, the mosaics and the masonry; but I look for you to join me in this endeavor to preserve this magnificent historic structure so that we might leave this Cathedral a polished jewel to those who come after us. The Very Rev. Douglas Wm McCaleb, Dean Adopted from the Dean’s address to the 2010 Annual Convention of the Diocese of Southeast Florida.

A Cathedral faces many challenges, not the least of which is its physical structure. Five years ago I signed the contract to come to this Cathedral as its Dean. Two weeks later Hurricane Wilma hit. Although our entire roofing system has since been replaced, we still must contend with continuing water intrusion, mostly through the frames surrounding the stained glass windows. This, in turn, has caused further deterioration to the interior and exterior plaster and stucco, and we are now concerned about water intrusion behind the beautiful Italian mosaics that line the nave.


A picture worth 1000 words

The earth beneath Trinity Cathedral’s marble chancel floor has settled over the last 85 years leaving a significant gap.

Little is left to the imagination as engineers broke through the marble tile and discovered a four-foot crawl space beneath historic Trinity Cathedral’s sanctuary and altar. Damage to the marble sanctuary floor is readily apparent as settling has created sloping and cracking in different areas of the floor.

bear on pile caps that are supported on piles. While the walls at the floor level transitions bear on the ground surface, the ground under these walls has settled, and the walls and supported floor structures have lowered with the ground. Although it appears the lower level floor slabs around the sanctuary and chancel areas may be reinforced, it also appears they were still intended to be ground-supported.

According to the engineering report prepared by Douglas Wood & Associates, the altar columns 3

Let music begin with silence When you next visit historic Trinity Cathedral, take a few moments to sit quietly in the church. And as you do, remember and give thanks for all those dedicated individuals whose vision, insight and commitment made this Cathedral possible. And consider what your role may be in caring for this beautiful sacred space both now and in the future.

E.M. Skinner was a leader in the art of organ building Trinity Cathedral’s beautiful E.M. Skinner organ was installed in the sanctuary in 1924 as the Cathedral was being constructed. It was built by Ernest M. Skinner & Company, who had developed a national reputation for building large organs for some of the most prestigious churches, concert halls, colleges, and auditoriums in the country. These include The Cathedral of St. John the Divine (150, 1906); Carnegie Music Hall, Pittsburgh (1910) and St Thomas Episcopal Church, Fifth Avenue, New York City (1913). The organ’s initial specification was four manuals, 43 stops, 36 ranks and 2,497 pipes, including an Echo chamber in the rear gallery containing four ranks of pipes. The Echo chamber, removed in 2001 to undergo repairs, is still awaiting repair. The original and current specifications of Trinity’s organ can be found on Trinity’s website at:

A musical treasure that must be preserved The Cathedral organ was expanded in 1964 by the successor firm of Aeolian Skinner with a new console added in 1970. Other minor work has been done since that time, but the instrument is currently in desperate need of major attention to protect and preserve it as a unique treasure in South Florida’s cultural community. In addition to more than 1,000 pipes that have been added to the organ since the 1920s, the most recent additions to the instrument include many digital stops, enhancing both the organ’s power and versatility. The latest project, completed in 2002, was phase one of a two-part phase to overhaul the organ. The second phase involves the upkeep of the pipework already in existence. The weight of many of the large reed pipes has caused them to actually begin to fall in on themselves. In spite of its current imperfections, Trinity Cathedral’s organ remains one of the most valued and treasured instruments in South Florida. The instrument’s most crucial “stop” – the acoustic of the cathedral nave – remains as vibrant as when the organ was first installed. 4

Preserving a sacred treasure

Friends of Trinity Cathedral was established to increase awareness and support for the restoration and preservation of Trinity Cathedral, one of Miami’s historic treasures. Our goal this year is to raise $450,000 -- and we need just $50,000 more to meet that goal. You can help us reach our goal by making a gift or pledge before Dec. 31st. For more information on how you can support the restoration and preservation of this truly beautiful and inspiring sacred place, call 786-888-6694.

Your Annual Support Your annual financial support of Friends of Trinity Cathedral is the heart of the Cathedral’s restoration and preservation program. The purpose of the annual giving program is to reach out to those who care deeply about preserving this important sacred space. Your financial support at any level makes a difference, whether $25, $50, $100 or through a First Friends leadership gift of $1,000 or more. These gifts help sustain our restoration efforts and are vital to ensuring that each year we remain committed to the long-term restoration, preservation and ongoing maintenance of historic Trinity Cathedral. Gifts can be made online, by phone or by mail or through regular credit card installments.

Special Gifts & Grants Individual special gifts, as well as foundation or corporate grants, can significantly advance the Cathedral restoration program. These gifts and grants, whether outright or pledged over time, help fund the restoration of specific critical needs of the Cathedral’s overall restoration and preservation plan. Naming and underwriting opportunities are available for such important projects as restoring the beautiful Rose Window, preserving individual stained glass windows, repairing the hand-crafted Italian mosaics, restoring the Cathedral’s historic Aeolian-Skinner organ. Gifts and grants at this level have an immediate and significant impact on the Cathedral’s restoration and preservation program.

Bequests & Planned Gifts Bequests and planned gifts can be significant transformational gifts. The beauty of this type of gift is that everyone can participate. By designating a percentage of your estate to Trinity Cathedral, you can leave a lasting legacy that can transform the work of the Cathedral for generations to come. And by notifying the Cathedral of your intent, you can become a participating member of the Cathedral’s new Legacy Society. Planning your estate, and including Trinity Cathedral in your estate plans, is an important part of fulfilling a life committed to faithful stewardship. To learn more about how you can include Trinity Cathedral in your estate plans, call Dr. Cheryl Chapman at 786-888-6694. 5

Ensuring a secure foundation for the future If you knew that Trinity Cathedral was at imminent risk, would you step forward to help save it? The truth is we may find ourselves in that position, and perhaps sooner rather than later. My hope is that you will step forward and that you will help prevent such a situation from ever occurring. Much has happened over the last several months as we continue our work to restore and preserve this magnificent historic Cathedral. Most recently, the structural and electrical engineers completed additional exploratory studies so that they and the architects can more clearly understand the full extent of work that needs to be done to make the necessary structural and electrical repairs and code upgrades so that the Cathedral can be re-certified as a public building What we have learned is that the Cathedral must address some serious structural issues, and we must do so immediately. Part of the reason for this is that some of the accepted construction practices of the early 1900s when the Cathedral was built, specifically the use of sand from the bay for cement as well as the use of shale as a foundation filler, have resulted in significant deterioration of some components of the building’s structure. According to our architects, all of this can be repaired, and the Cathedral structure securely restored, but it will require immediate support and an ongoing commitment from all of us who care about this Cathedral as an historic sacred space and as an integral piece of Miami’s history. My sense – and I believe I am right – is that Trinity Cathedral is important to you. And so is preserving it. The work we need to do next must begin immediately – we simply cannot delay – and your financial support is essential to moving forward. You can help make this happen by making a gift right now. Our goal is to raise $50,000 more by Dec. 31st. But we need your help. The sooner you send your gift or make a pledge, the sooner we can secure the Cathedral foundation and structure. I trust we can count on your support. Cheryl D. Chapman, Ph.D., Executive Director

Benjamine Reid named chair of Friends of Trinity Cathedral Benjamine Reid, past chair of Episcopal Charities, a member of St. Faith’s Episcopal Church, and chairman/shareholder of Carlton Fields, will serve as the first chair of the Friends of Trinity Cathedral board of directors, Douglas Wm McCaleb, Dean of Trinity Cathedral, announced at the annual convention of the Diocese of Southeast Florida on Nov. 14. “This is such an important leadership role as we develop Friends of Trinity Cathedral and prepare for a major capital campaign,” says Dean McCaleb. “Ben Reid is the perfect person as we seek to build a community-wide board of directors to help us in our efforts to restore and preserve this magnificent historic sacred space that is such an important piece of Miami’s history.” According to Cheryl Chapman, executive director of Friends of Trinity Cathedral, the new board will be comprised of individuals from the Cathedral community, from the Diocese of Southeast Florida and from the broader business, preservation and philanthropic communities. “This diversity of members is essential to expanding the reach and increasing awareness of the importance of preserving Trinity Cathedral not only as an historic sacred space and historically significant structure, but also as a dynamic cultural and education center that continues to serve this community in many vital ways,” says Chapman. 6

Murder in the Cathedral: And the Winner is...Murder! It wasn’t T.S. Elliot’s award-winning play, but nine cast members – eight once the “murder” occurred – earned a standing ovation on Oct. 23rd from the 100 guests turned detectives at historic Trinity Cathedral during an evening of drama and intrigue in this murder-mystery with a Hollywood Academy Awards twist. Hosted by Friends of Trinity Cathedral, this year’s inaugural Murder in the Cathedral event raised $6,000 to benefit the restoration and preservation of historic Trinity Cathedral. Special thanks to our event sponsors: Producers Rob Bannister and Louise Harms; Directors Dr. Cheryl Chapman and Tim Foster, David Donovan, Bryan Halda, Barbara and Jeff Lane, The Very Rev. Douglas McCaleb, and Dr. Jill Baker and The Very Rev. John Tidy; and Special Friends Ann and Edward Forgotson, Barbara Hineline and Lorenzo Lebrija. And kudos to this year’s ensemble, directed by Willie Concepcion: Jill Baker, Kourtney Brown, Michele Colson, Paul Dexter, Tony Guzman, Louise Harms, Charles Humphries, Juanita Miller and Russell Turk. If you would like to participate in next year’s Murder in the Cathedral, contact Cheryl Chapman at 786-888-6694 or

Friends of Trinity Cathedral

Date: ____ / ____ / ____

 I would like to become a Friend of Trinity Cathedral  I would like to make a gift in honor of  I would like to make a gift in memory of

! Please accept my tax-deductible contribution in the amount of: ! $5,000 ! $2,500 ! $1,000

Name: Address: Phone: ( Email:


! $500 ! $250 ! $100

! $50 ! $25 ! Other: $ _______

! I would like to join First Friends, which recognizes contributors who give $1,000 or more annually.


Method of Payment:  Cash  Check (payable to Friends of Trinity Cathedral)  Please charge my VISA or MASTERCARD (please circle one):  one-time charge $ ________ /  monthly installments of $ ______ Card # ___________________________________ Exp. Date ___ / ______ Name on card: ________________________________________ Planned Giving:  I have included Trinity Cathedral in my estate plans.  I would like to learn more about including Trinity Cathedral in my estate plans. Please contact me. Thank you for your financial support of Friends of Trinity Cathedral. Please return this form with your contribution to: Friends of Trinity Cathedral / Attn: Dr. Cheryl Chapman / 464 NE 16th Street / Miami, FL 33132


Friends of Trinity Cathedral

FALL/WINTER 2010 Vol 1 No 2 Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Permit #63 Miami, FL

464 NE 16th Street, Miami, FL 33132

Visit our Facebook Fan Page: Friends of Trinity Cathedral Make a gift online at: Sign up for our email list: Find out how you can support Friends: 786-888-6694

Did you know... The Cathedral Rose Window is one of only a few memorial tributes to the founder of Miami, Julia Tuttle, who also helped establish Trinity Church in 1896 with missionary Bishop William Crane Gray. Other memorials include the Cathedral’s baptismal font in the north chapel, the Julia Tuttle Causeway and a 10-foot bronze statue located at the southern end of Miami’s Bayfront Park. Tuttle’s skirt depicts images of historic Miami, including one of Trinity Cathedral. Trinity’s Rose Window dominates the west end of the Cathedral nave above the gallery. Throughout the day the colors change and intensify during the daylight hours and with different seasons of the year. At around 4 p.m. in the winter or 6 p.m. in the summer the sun shines directly behind the glass of the Rose Window, creating a kaleidoscopic splendor across the tiles of the nave floor. Although rose windows are not uncommon, this one is gains distinction from the Latin cross superimposed on its tracery on both the interior and exterior facades. The mission of Friends of Trinity Cathedral is to ensure the long-term restoration, preservation and ongoing maintenance of historic Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, its properties and grounds, and to ensure this historic sacred space serves this community and this Diocese for generation after generation.

Friends of Trinity Cathedral Newsletter FALL/WIN 2010  

See up close photos of the critical work to be done to help save this historic Cathedral -- and find out how you can help. Read our FALL/WIN...